One year ago today, David gave the gift of life to his daddy.
He donated a kidney.
And now they are both doing so well! Bud is like a different man, so full of energy and life. And David has fully recovered and you'd never suspect that he was an organ donor. At the time of the surgery, I just couldn't bring myself to blog about it except to ask for prayers for them. It was just too stressful of a time and I was too worried. In fact, you may be surprised to know that I didn't take any pictures with my cameras. These are all courtesy of my inlaws.
We all found it to be interesting seeing the surgeon mark the "correct" kidney on David's stomach.
Did I mention I was heavily pregnant with Faith at the time? She was born 6 weeks later.
This is what David looked like after surgery. He was really swollen and sore. For weeks. The incision in the upper right is where they placed a tiny camera. The smaller incision below that is where the tools went to cut and clamp organs off and they pulled the kidney out through the cut in his belly button. Now, his scars are so much smaller and he's not puffy either.
For those of you interested, the above pictures were taken during the surgery. The first is David's kidney wrapped in the protective layer of fat. Did you know that your kidney is wrapped in fat for protection? I didn't know that until Dr. Kercher showed and explained these photographs to me. In the second photo you can see the other organs (pancreas and spleen) that had to moved around during the surgery. Those organs being so jostled about is one reason David was incredibly sore afterwards.
The next photo shows David's renal artery and renal vein. Both had to be cut and clamped off. The following picture shows his kidney after the fat had been cut away. The next two photos show smaller blood vessels being soldered to minimize bleeding. The last two pictures are of David's ureter being cut and clamped. The ureter takes the urine from the kidney to the bladder.
Interesting photographs, don't you think? Going into the surgery, I had no idea Dr. Kercher would take photographs and print them out for us. That was pretty amazing.
Since this was such a huge event in our lives, I felt a celebration was needed so we had a kidney party! I felt it appropriate to eat kidney beans so I made kidney bean salad. It's delicious!
And a kidney shaped cake.
And Grace helped color the card that we made.
It reads "Love cures" with a photo of the kidney donation logo. I added the "no kidney around..." When David came home, I had a few corny jokes lined up like telling him not to get too comfy because a friends were coming over to party. Just kidney! hahaha. Then Grace wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Kidney. Several times if I recall correctly. It was a fun family party.
Seriously though, David really is an exceptional person. Even knowing now how difficult and painful donating a kidney was, he would do it all over again. No questions asked. David truly is the most courageous, thoughtful, and generous person I have ever met and I am so fortunate to call him mine. He touches each and every person he meets and enriches all of our lives in so many ways. He makes the world a better place. And I love him more than my heart can hold.